Make, learn and talk about needle lace.
I'm looking for a couple YARDS of a cotton net fabric (AKA bobinette, cotton tulle?) to use as a base/background for needle lace on the back (top) of a dress.
I'm not sure if I have the correct name for it. It's what I see in the background on this lace from wikimedia here:
and also what I see in the background of the "point de gaze" group icon
I love the look of this type of lace - organic, not perfect, a bit wobbly, not geometric, but stunningly beautiful! Do I have to make the cotton net myself (if so how?), or can I buy it somewhere?
Yes, this is handmade net. It is not sold or made by the yard and patched in. It is part of the process of making the Point de Gaze needlelace where you fill in the area between the motifs with twisted buttonhole stitch made by hand with a needle and thread. I imagine the stitch is in the Stiches of Needlelace area of the website. Alternatively, Catherine Barley's book deals with making Point de Gaze. The process is such that making yards of it is probably not a reasonable plan.
I know that Holly Van Sciver's site, www.vansciverbobbinlace.com has some net, although not like this, for sale for use in making Carrickmacross. Perhaps a fine needlework store would have something along the lines of a fine net for tambour work. Tulle, is often available in fabric stores. This site is limited to true needlelace, so that modes of needlelace that are worked on a premade net such as tambour work or Carrickmacross are not really included. These premade nets are quite regular and will not have the look of the handmade vaireity such as you see in this photo.
I think your ambitions are admirable. I think it would help if you had a clearer idea about all the different forms of lacemaking. There are at least half a dozen and they all use different tools and working methods. My website http://lynxlace.com was specifically put together to answer that question and give a sort of crash course in identifying the different kinds of lace making.
So, for instance, there is embroidered net, made on machine made net and using embroidered darning patterns to fill in motifs. The links on my embroidered net page whill show you some examples of this kind, both finished and still in process (so you will understand the method). There is also a variety which makes chain stitch decorations using a needle or tambour hook.
There is true needlelace (which is what we do here) and it makes every single part of the whole thing with your needle and thread. This form was one of the predominant methods of making costly lace during its heyday.
Irish crochet (and crochet in general) is a quick method of imitating the slower-made and more costly laces. It first began in the 19th century. It uses crochet hooks to make separate motifs which are then joined together by a background made of crochetted chains.
Then there is embroidered square knotted net. This is the oldest form of lacemaking (filet lacis). It uses the same method of making square net that made the old time fisherman's net, but much smaller in scale. Then various embroidered darning and embroidery stitches embellish the net.
Please do take the time to look at my website. I think it will answer and lot of your questions and help you decide which form you want to spend your efforts on.
I do hope you continue with true needle lace. Your first attempt is quite good (although there is room for improvement) and in the long run, true needle lace will give you freedom to make just about anything. The one drawback is that it is slow. But it can be used for dress decorations. Several of our members who have written books have used it to make gorgeous clothing.
I answer lately because i just join the group. I buy my cotton net, called tulle de cotton in France on the website here :
You can buy meters or small pieces. If you need help for translation let me know. I hope this is what you find : hexagonal cotton net.
Just an update... I bought the net for my lace at Farmhouse Fabrics:
It's the most expensive out of all the fabrics I've bought. But after comparing prices it was the most reasonably priced source I could find. Also, it was a little darker than I wanted so I used RIT (a fabric dye remover) to lighten it.
Bobbinet or cotton tulle is difficult to get, but I have managed to source some lately.You can get on my on line shop at www.kenmarelace.ie
It is quite a while since I have been on needlelacetalking. Just busy, busy, Now that I am back I really must try and keep in touch!! You are all doing great work.